Closely related to Ensis siliqua , but recognisable by its smaller size, obliquely truncated anterior end, and the anterior pallial scar running parallel and very close to the anterior edge. The shell is rather broad, straight or slightly curved. Edges parallel or nearly so. Posterior end of approximately the same breadth as the anterior end; often squarely truncate. Posterior aperture is narrow, more or less compressed in outline. Sculpture of fine concentric lines, following the growth increments. Left valve with two projecting, peg-like cardinal teeth of about equal size and two elongate, posterior laterals, situated one above the other; right valve with a single cardinal and a single, elongate posterior lateral. Anterior adductor scar elongate, extending to behind ligament; posterior scar small and round, separated from pallial sinus by a distance of 1.5-2 times its own length (Interior E. siliqua & E. minor).
Up to 170 mm long, 25 mm broad.
White or cream, with pale purple, pink, or reddish streaks; periostracum glossy, light olive or yellow-brown, grey-green along posterior dorsal region. Inner surfaces white, often tinted blue or purplish.
From Norway to the Mediterranean (Distr. E. minor).